Holden’s halo car could shine on
HOLDEN’S SS hero car could rescue the Commodore from death row.
Plans are being hatched for the SS V8 to live on beyond the lifespan of the coming VF Commodore, set for 2016, provided that US and Australian performance-car fans are still prepared to pay.
Holden says it could continue with a low-volume VF SS on its production line in Adelaide after the cut-off date for the current Commodore, which is set to be replaced by a General Motors global model.
That would mean three models in the same factory, with the compact Cruze running alongside the SS and the new car. ‘‘ We are considering all options . . . but won’t discuss specifics at this stage,’’ Holden chairman Mike Devereux tells Carsguide.
One of his predecessors as Holden boss, Mark Reuss, believes a long-term SS is possible if export demand is as strong as expected in the US.
Reuss knows what is possible at the Holden factory in Elizabeth, South Australia.
Now the boss of General Motors in the US, he led the push to take the SS to America as a Chevrolet as well as Chevy’s NASCAR racing spearhead. A Commodore badged as a Chevrolet SS (pictured) was the pace car at this year’s Daytona 500.
‘‘ We can sell this for as long as we can make it and sell it,’’ he says of the rear-wheel drive muscle car.
He is a long-term fan of the Commodore SS and knows the pulling power it has in Australia, as well as its potential to bring buyers to US Chevrolet dealerships.
‘‘ What if we have a really cool, loyal buyer base? What if we had that? What if it becomes the reason to go into a Chevrolet dealership?’’ he says.
‘‘ What if we say we’re not going to do it any more and there is an uproar saying that we want these? What if that happens, what would you do?’’
The decision on the SS does not have to be made for some time, probably not until 2015, but Reuss is already keen to find a way to keep the Commodore going.
‘‘ I think that is a pretty good idea,’’ he says. ‘‘ You need another body shop to keep it going, so what? There are two body shops in a place people said we could only have one.
‘‘ They said we couldn’t do it but we did do it. It is paid for, it’s all there.’’